Not surprising. I’m just going to brainstorm some possible titles.
Thirteen Reasons Why Trump Colluded With Russia
If Trump Did It
All The Lies We Cannot See
Big Little Hands
Donald Trump And The Election Thief
Guys, this is meant to be funny. Let’s not get too serious here. But really, any thoughts on a possible title?
Ever heard of an author named Christian Platt? No? Me neither. But he’s doing something interesting at the moment. He’s asking people to name his new book. Anyone can submit a title. What’s your incentive? You get a credit in the book and you get $100 worth of books. But not by way of an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card, he’s giving you his previous books that he says are valued that high.
On the post I only saw eight comments. So I think he might be just as much of a nobody as me. But if you really want people to take this kind of thing seriously, then I’d say there’s gotta be real incentive. And in this case there isn’t.
But back to my original question. Would I do this? No. Not ever. Is it supposed to build hype or give other people the chance to feel “involved” in the process of making this book a reality? I don’t know. But book titles are the first thing people see when they come across your book (unless you’re immensely popular and they only see your name.) Letting just any person do it doesn’t seem like the best decision.
Would you ever let someone else title your next book?
I do. And I have done so for some time now. But it isn’t universal. It really depends on your personal preference and the style guide you learned from.
In college and I think also in high school I was taught MLA style. And they have you italicize book titles. But the AP Stylebook would have you place quotation marks around book titles in your writing. To me, italics are just easier to read and less confusing. When I come across quotation marks in written text I’m immediately thinking that I’m about to read some dialogue. Maybe that’s just me? No idea. I think you can also underline book titles if you want? But I believe the practice has been largely replaced by italicizing.
There may not be only one way to identify book titles in written text, but there is one thing that you shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t just write the title as if it were any other group of words without properly identifying it in some way. Why? Because how is your reader, whomever it may be, supposed to know that they’re reading the title of a book if the text looks no different from the rest?
The message is that italics, quotation marks, and underlines really don’t matter as long as you use one.
PS: I’m leaving on my trip I announced a little while back this week! I’d said I wouldn’t be blogging, but maybe I’ll post quick 100-125 word posts during my travels. I think.
Most book titles are pretty basic. Nothing too memorable. At least not to me. You remember them because of the story and not because of the title. Although some do serve as reminders of what the story was about if it’s been a long time since reading it. For instance, Halo: The Fall of Reach is about the fall of Reach. How easy to remember. And The Cleanup is about a cop who is thrust into action when a local girl he knows calls him for help and there’s a dead body. He has to clean up her mess. Easy. I read that years ago.
But not all titles are like that. Storm Runners. No earthly idea what it’s about, besides the fact that it probably has something to do with a meteorologist or something. A Cold Day in Paradise. No idea. Kisscut. Not a clue. I’m not saying that these are bad titles, but they just don’t set off any bells when I think of them.
I mean, I don’t expect to really remember minute details from every book I ever read. Obviously that’s not going to happen. But maybe these titles aren’t the greatest ever. Maybe.
Anyway, that’s not the point. When you read those titles you’re not immediately taken aback or pushed away from possibly reading the book. So they’re all fine. But some books just ask not to be read. Better yet, their authors force your hand. I know we all have our reading habits and tastes, but let’s be real for a minute. There is not an audience of tens of millions of people in America who want to be reading about incest. No, not a book in which there is some inappropriate sexual contact, I’m talking about books that are basically meant to glorify the practice. So I don’t have a specific title that is the worst I’ve ever come across. But any mention of one’s brother’s you-know-what in the title is about as bad as it gets for me. And then the authors of these books complain when Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Kobo force a title change if the book is to be sold online. What a damn joke. The stories and the authors.
What’s the worst book title you’ve ever come across?